In the 80’s era of extravagance and glitz, Barry Wine turned The Quilted Giraffe Restaurant into a thing of beauty and a joy forever for diners like Wendeen and every other foodie in our town, not to mention the rich and famous from around the world. The restaurant is long since gone but early East Coast worshipers of farm to fork produce and meat exquisitely prepared and presented, knew Barry as the King of the road from the farm to the table.
Barry first popped up on Wendeen’s radar screen as a lawyer at a prestigious NYC law firm of yesteryear. In due course–40+ years later, the legendary chef became an EOLIS client, as a JD credentialed executive, contemplating new adventures! In his final coaching session, Barry thanked Wendeen. As they parted company, Barry quipped: if your advice pays off, a Quilted Giraffe- type dinner is on me!
Tonight he made good! Barry and Wendeen met up at Eleven Madison Park Restaurant. It is widely reported as “the best restaurant in the world.” EMP, as it is known to New York foodies, is the capital of the restaurant world, and it seems to operate with many similar principles that Barry Wine held dear–—excellent ingredients, prepared to bring out the full flavor, with plenty of grace notes, and striking presentations, and uncompromising devotion to the customer experience.
Barry and Wendeen were pumped up for their planned visit to catch up on the results of their collaboration. Barry had developed a unique strategy for a big deal. and had just hit another home run in a life well lived. They were about to celebrate in style!
Turning back the clock, Wendeen recalled that Barry first popped up on her radar screen as an associate at Breed, Abbott and Morgan, a prestigious, New York, White Shoe law firm that was swallowed up in a fancy mega-merger. Barry was wholly unaffected. He had long-since begun his march to the beat of a different drummer. In a small Hudson Valley college town, where he lived with his former wife, Barry taught himself how to cook. He relied on local farms to produce meals for the table. He took ideas from his home kitchen to a tiny restaurant he opened and put on the map–in no time flat. Instant raves never waned from one move of his restaurant to another that accommodated expansion and greater grandeur. Barry Wine made it, big time in “New York, New York; he closed the Quilted Giraffe amid success rarely achieved with ever-fickle foodies.
He has moved on, seizing opportunity each time it knocks his socks off! The one-time lawyer/restaurant owner /chef/private chef and hospitality consultant has explored his artistic side; as a jewelry designer, photographer, and artist, too. Barry epitomizes the Renaissance man. His recent home run was a real estate transaction, the product of Barry’s independence, creativity, and sharp business sense. He has coupled his artistic talent and entrepreneurial skills with a keen understanding of contracts and agreements gained from his training as a lawyer to achieve singular success in a host of endeavors.
From one course to the next, at Eleven Madison Park, Barry and Wendeen caught up on news and views and friends and acquaintances in common– in law, business, and entertainment–until suddenly they were interrupted during their sensational meal.
A knowing EMP executive summoned them to meet the chef and take a tour of the palatial kitchen. Barry and Wendeen were treated like royalty with a stunning caviar -based dish –prepared for them the EMP-way. It was a truly special toast to the visit of the Great Barry Wine!. It was also a reminder to Wendeen of the Quilted Giraffe’s singular confection of caviar and creme fraiche, tucked into a pastry crepe. The bundle of goodness was tied with a chive, dipped in clarified butter and perched on a circular slice of lime. As per Barry’s gentle instruction, it was then ready to be savored, in a single bite.
Barry’s unending talent –he still consults as a guru to culinary masters–is just one small part of a busy easel. His insatiable curiosity and desire to grow and share is reflected in his ever-evolving talents. This week he has two tango dance lessons on his calendar!